Radio stations Newstalk and Today FM are to introduce cooperation between their two news services.

The decision will result in a reduction in the number of freelance staff at the stations.

A spokesperson for Newstalk said both stations will retain separate news readers and dedicated political correspondents, but there will be cooperation between the news services in other areas.

It is understood that although the two newsrooms will remain separate, in some cases a reporter from one will be sent out on a story and the information will then be pooled.

A spokesperson for Today FM said the move was being made in the interest of efficiency of service.

Both stations are owned by Communicorp, and operate from the same building in Dublin.

RTÉ News understands that a proposal to the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland for the newsgathering functions of the two stations to be shared was turned down by the board of the BCI in June.